'Stepping up' — Assistance available for isolated seniors, younger volunteers needed to help out

Several local nonprofits are stepping up to expand their services, to provide deliveries of food, medicine and other essentials for those who need to be isolated at home.

As the need for such services increases, so does the demand for young, healthy volunteers to deliver those essential items.

RSVP Mobile Meals

Candace Hazlett, marketing director for RSVP of Enid, said demand has significantly increased over the last week for the nonprofit's Mobile Meals program, which delivers hot meals to homebound seniors.

Meeting that increased demand has been challenging, Hazlett said, because many of the volunteers who usually deliver the meals are seniors themselves, and have had to step back due to recommendations they isolate themselves at home to avoid contracting the coronavirus.

But, it's also been heartening, Hazlett said, to see younger volunteers step up to fill the gap.

Volunteers from CDSA, local teachers, churches and employees at local businesses have stepped in, Hazlett said.

"It has been really neat to see younger volunteers stepping in to serve those in need," Hazlett said. "The community itself stepping up to help has been wonderful."

But, Hazlett said more calls for assistance are coming in every day, and more volunteers are needed to keep up with demand.

And that demand is likely to increase as RSVP adds grocery shopping and delivery, and plans to add a frozen meal plan for isolated seniors.

To volunteer or request assistance, call RSVP of Enid at (580) 233-5914.

Christy Baker, RSVP executive director, said RSVP hopes, with the help of the community, to help keep the incidence rate of coronavirus as low as possible.

"Our mission is to help reduce pre-hospitalization and other preventable health care costs in an effort to help flatten the curve, both during the current crisis and beyond," Baker said.

To donate to RSVP, to help cover the increased cost of the program's increasing services during the coronavirus pandemic, visit the "Donate" tab at https://www.rsvpenid.org.

Looking for ways to help

Community Development Support Association Executive Director Cheri Ezzell said volunteering with RSVP is "a perfect way to help seniors" because it does not require any direct contact with those who are at risk.

CDSA is continuing to provide diapers through its diaper bank. To arrange diaper pick-up, call (580) 242-6131 and schedule an appointment.

Ezzell said the CDSA board has set aside extra funds to assist where they can during the pandemic.

"If people know ways we can help, please call us," Ezzell said. CDSA can be reached at its normal number, (580) 242-6131.

Additional pick-up service

EJRT is offering volunteers to pick up groceries and essential items for those in need. To request assistance, contact EJRT through their Facebook page at https://tinyurl.com/EJRTEnid.

Meals for kids

Meals are available at several locations weekdays starting Monday for children under age 18.

Enid Public Schools will offer meals beginning Monday, the day spring break was supposed to have ended, at five sites: Garfield Elementary School, 400 N. 7th; Glen­wood Elementary School, 824 N. Oakwood; Enid High School, 611 W. Wabash; New View Apartments office, 1726 S. Leona Mitchell; and Denny Price Family YMCA, 415 W. Cherokee.

Breakfast will be served 7:30-8:30 a.m., and lunch will be provided from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the school sites.

Breakfast will be 8-8:30 a.m. and lunch will be 11:30-noon at New View. YMCA will serve dinner 3-4:30 p.m.

Parents are asked to pull through the school drive, and meals will be delivered to the family’s car. Due to U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, students must be present in the car to receive a meal.

Senior shopping

Jumbo Foods is offering the first two hours every morning for senior citizens and the immunocompromised to shop.

The daily schedule, according to the chain's Facebook page, is:

• Jumbo Foods on Willow: 5-7 a.m.

• Jumbo II on 30th: 7-9 a.m.

• Jumbo III / Save-A-Lot at 917 E. Broadway: 7-9 a.m.

• Jumbo IV on South Van Buren: 7-9 a.m.

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